Bipartisan Politics, The Media and The Impact on National Security Policies

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Bipartisan Politics, The Media and The Impact on National Security Policies

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Bipartisan Politics, The Media and The Impact on National Security Policies
Author(s) Kiefer, Günther
Date 2016
English abstract
This research will analyze the impact of bipartisan politics and the media's conflicting role in influencing public perceptions regarding national security issues. The central focus is on popular media narratives, critically examined as an impediment to fostering unified public solidarity or opposition regarding the enactment of controversial legislation. In light of the increase in geopolitical conflict and the pervasive nature of terrorism, this study attempts to analyze the media's public role versus the privacy of clandestine agencies whose policies, albeit controversial address critical national security concerns. As a result, the conflict inherent between institutional and public spheres provides the groundwork for discursive and objective analysis. Empirical data collection and critical analysis of relevant materials; academic journals, online archives and published works by individuals active in media and national security, provide the primary source of qualitative data. Research was primarily inductive. Analysis effectively combined data from various qualitative sources in an effort to justify the central hypothesis. Contemporary tragic events also provided a supplemental source of relevant content. It is important to note, such events resonate with the rationalization arrived at in the conclusion. The principle aim of this research was to address the question: Does the media's promotion of the bipartisan political agenda impede or enhance national security policies? In addition, is the role of the media reflective of state subservience or does the media actively challenge national security initiatives, e.g. curtailing of civil liberties, human rights violations and loss of constitutional freedoms? The analysis further subjected by cross-disciplinary inquiry and academic theories pertinent to achieving the principle aims of this research. The theoretical framework and methodology utilized was consistent with political discourse analysis (PDA), specifically textual, as all discursive elements were present within the collected source materials. Additional analysis utilizing mediatization and audience theories provides the proper contextualization within communicative and media studies. Contemporary events surrounding geopolitical conflict, race relations and terrorism in relation to the institutional and international response, provides further demonstrable results, which is commensurate with the overall conclusions of this study. The outcome and results of this research indicate that mainstream media provides both a support role, emphasizing status quo narratives concerning national and international political perspectives and policy, and also a contradictory role impeding domestic solidarity by exacerbating political division along the usual bipartisan lines. The specific focus on legislation that results in expanding judicial powers surrounding national security concerns. Such policies often interpreted as contrary to the preservation of domestic freedoms. These findings correlate with Couldry and Hepp's notions of institutionalist mediatization theory regarding the media as innately powerful agents of change, imparting influence on audiences and non-media actors.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 82
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) national security, bipartisan politics, media propaganda, terrorism, CIA, CSIS, ISIS, political discourse analysis, Patriot Act, Bill C-51, neoliberal, political realism
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